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Let's Talk Family Enterprise

Mar 10, 2020


Welcome to Let’s Talk Family Enterprise, a podcast that explores the ideas, concepts and models that best serve Family Enterprise Advisors (FEAs) in supporting their clients.



Family enterprise clients rarely want to fail at wealth transition, yet the research finds that most do. Host Ruth Steverlynck sits down with Courtney Pullen, author of Intentional Wealth: How Families Build Legacies of Stewardship and Financial Health to take a deep dive on those families—the ten percent—that manage to build lasting patterns of emotional and financial health to see the common attributes that we as advisors can learn from to help our family enterprise clients with similar aspirations for a successful transition of their wealth.


Guest bio

Courtney Pullen, M.A., is the President of The Pullen Consulting Group. He has more than 25 years of experience in individual and family coaching, business and management consulting, leadership development, communication and team building.

Pullen has lectured frequently, conducted numerous workshops and been published in the areas of individual and organizational change, behavioural finance, communication and family wealth dynamics. He is a former contributing editor to the Journal of Financial Planning and the Journal of Practical Estate Planning and is a faculty member of the Sudden Money Institute. He is also a graduate of the Newfield coaching program.

His primary focus is as a consultant to financial services firms and affluent families. He recently published the best-selling book, Intentional Wealth: How Families Build Legacies of Stewardship and Financial Health.


Key Takeaways

[0:16] Ruth introduces Courtney Pullen and this episode’s theme, the 10 percent, before a brief discussion about affluent families that fail.

[3:16] Courtney touches on the difference that wealth actually makes in a family, as well as the importance of keeping in mind that all families have “stuff.”

[5:50] Ruth and Courtney discuss challenges that wealthy families face, such as material limits and boundaries, and societal treatment. Courtney also shares examples of value-based boundaries as well as some issues arising from being born into affluent families.

[9:54] Courtney talks about some common themes that the interviews from his book highlighted regarding the creation of wealth versus receiving wealth.

[11:09] Courtney shares a story of hope as well as some practical advice for advisors about “optimal frustration.”

[17:19] Courtney discusses how intentionality is the common denominator in G3+ families.

[18:14] Courtney shares other common attributes that have a big impact on the successful transition of wealth, such as investing in the next generation, focusing on healthy communications and investing in the family as much as you do in the business.

[22:54] How do you prepare people for receiving wealth they haven’t earned? Courtney explains the delicate balance between denial vs. entitlement.

[25:32] Courtney explains how everything he has mentioned is not yet common practice and wonders if this could be the cause of the dire 10 percent success statistics.

[26:52] Individual pursuits and family businesses often do not align; Ruth and Courtney speak to the importance of building empowered family relationships.

[28:40] There is no recipe, but change occurs in the direction of our attention and intention.

[31:13] Ruth takes a moment to recap the important points that Courtney has brought to the podcast and asks him for a last piece of advice.

[35:37] Courtney shares his reading suggestions.

[37:14] Ruth thanks Courtney for his time and experience and invites listeners to subscribe and tune in for the next episode.


Mentioned in this episode

The Let’s Talk Family Enterprise podcast is brought to you by Family Enterprise Xchange


Pullen Consulting

Intentional Wealth: How Families Build Legacies of Stewardship and Financial Health, by Courtney Pullen

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dwek


More about Family Enterprise Xchange

Family Enterprise Xchange

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FEX on Twitter

FEX on LinkedIn


More about our guest

Courtney Pullen’s website